Elections are a funny thing in Pakistan. We don't have them that often. When we do, they tend to be fixed. When we don't, well..., we have Generals and Field Marshalls for those occassions. The current General in charge, President Musharraf, has "appointed" a Prime Minister. Shaukat Aziz, whom I introduced here, is due to take office later in the summer. Mind you that Aziz has never held public office or even ran for one. After this decision by the General, Aziz submitted his papers to stand for election for the Provinicial Assembly in NA-59 Attock. He is not from Attock but akin to Hillary Clinton, he can be a carpetbagger.
The opposition is bringing out the greatest hits against him:
Of course, Aziz is none of the above. He is simply an economist who has lived and taught in the US (with Wolfowitz as a student), a civil bureaucrat working with the World Bank and IMF, and a decent enough fellow. However, as a response to all the above, he is out there saying idiotic things designed to showcase him as a hardcore Muslim and a true patriot. He is pandering to the worst possible crowd: the Mullahs. The repeal, or at least, reform of Hudood Ordinance is the first real test of the post-Jamali Cabinet and, already, Aziz has made all the wrong noises. Predictions are that he will be just another cog in that giant tar-pit of politics in Pakistan. Yes, against all hopes.
Yeah definitely. I've always thought that Shaukat Aziz has done a good enough job precisely because he has stayed out of main stream politics. The fact that he is now entering it is a cause of worry, as it means he will now have to make compromises in his work for the sake politics. As with Musharraf, my concern is that despite the good intentions, the very dirty political arena in Pakistan will make Aziz adjust the way he does things.
Advocate Sohail Hameed, who filed a writ petition seeking the rejection of the nomination papers of prime minister-in-waiting Shaukat Aziz for the elections in the Thar constituency, has been arrested by the police, his brother claimed on Tuesday. Qamar Hameed, Sohailís brother, told Online that in the early hours of Monday night three police mobile cars along with one white private car came to Sohail Hameedís residence in PECHS, Sir Syed Road, Block No 2, and told the family that they wanted to search the house because some dacoits had made an entry. He said after that they took his brother captive and took him to an undisclosed location. He said that so far no agency or police had admitted that Sohail had been arrested.--http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_14-7-2004_pg1_6
Sorry Sepoy, firstly apologies that I am invading your comments section yet again :) (although I promise that I will post it once not 3 times like Nitin) Secondly Shaukat Aziz was answering a question posed in the Senate. He explained his religious leaning. We have not heard any other mulla opening their stinking mouth after this rebuttal. After Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's debacle of pandering to the mulla who returned the favor by consipiring to send him to the gallows, everyone has to prove themselves to be a good honorable muslim to hold public office. So if you are asking why Shaukat Aziz did what he did, then religion is an important issue. Non-issues do become issues, religion in Pakistan or say abortion or gay marriages in the US. Except for the chattering classes in Pakistan (read landowning politicians, scheming generals, yellow journalists etc) the common man is least bothered about nuances of political route taken by the establishment to install Shaukat Aziz. It is always a privilege to listen to him speak as far as I am concerned. Do catch last Fridays' article by Ayaz Amir. It explains how people at the helm in public office think. (http://www.dawn.com/weekly/ayaz/ayaz.htm) He starts off with Shaukat Aziz but takes a amazing tangent mentioning an article in "Khabrain" by a retired police official. This article is a chilling reminder of the mess that we are entangled in. As for pandering to the right-wing, this phenomenon is rampant in the US not that two wrongs make one right. You have your Pat Robertsons, Pat Buchanans what to mention extreme right fringes which are so Christian, they are also anti-state. Lets wait for the US elections to draw close and then all the Ã¬right-panderingÃ® will be out in the open. Regards - Naveed PS: I found an interesting quote by Pat Robertson (I was checking the way he spells his name someone asked him whether God and Allah are the same "being". Enjoy his response. Your comment on it as a historian would be educational. QUOTE PAT ROBERTSON: Under no circumstances is Jehovah, the God of the Bible, and Allah, of the Koran, the same. First of all, the God of the Bible is a God of love and redemption, who sent His Son into the world to die for our sins. Allah tells people to die for him in order to get salvation, but there is no understanding of salvation. Allah was the moon god from Mecca. That is why Islam has the crescent moon. The flag of Turkey has a crescent moon with a star in it. Well, the crescent moon is because Allah was the moon god, and that is the deal. But we don't serve a moon god. We serve the God of creation, the Creator of everything UNQUOTE (source : http://www.cbn.com/700club/askpat/BIO_040203.asp)
Deevaan: You have my permission to post as many comments as you want. you will not "invade" my comments section. Having said that, thanks for the Ayaz Amir link, it is an informative read, indeed. Religion, in my view, needs to stay out of public discourse no matter which country. And if you think I have any intention of even commenting on something the likes of Pat Robertson would say, you are crazy. I saw him on CBN saying he has found a convert who "speaks Arab" and has told him that the Islamics train their children to hate Jesus. Sigh. Nitin: Just a Sigh. More on the Moon in the Turkish flag soon.
Sepoy - Thanks for removing the multiple copies of my comment. I think you are quite right in noting how silly non-issues suddenly become quite real in electoral politics. We can excuse Shaukat Aziz on that count. The main worry is what happens to the house Musharraf built after he goes to that place where retired generals go to? (I mean the golf course). Shaukat Aziz may not last a day beyond Musharraf.